Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 29, 2008
The universe is yours to discover during the International Year of Astronomy 2009
With 2009 just over the horizon, stargazers around the world are busy preparing for the International Year of Astronomy.

Another reason to avoid high-fat diet -- it can disrupt our biological clock
Indulgence in a high-fat diet can not only lead to overweight because of excessive calorie intake, but also can affect the balance of circadian rhythms -- everyone's 24-hour biological clock, Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have shown.

How to enhance nonthermal effects of ultrasound
High-intensity focused ultrasound is a rapidly developing noninvasive technology for tumor treatment.

What are protective effects of anti-ricin A-chain aptamer?
A group from New York University School of Medicine investigated the therapeutic potential of an RNA ligand (aptamer) specific for the catalytic ricin A-chain (RTA), the protective effects of a 31-nucleotide RNA aptamer, which formed a high affinity complex with RTA, against ricin-induced toxicity in cell-based luciferase translation and cell cytotoxicity assays were evaluated.

Global structures of the DE3 tide
New research shows that the eastward propagating diurnal tide of zonal wave No.

May hepatic granulomas be part of the histological spectrum of chronic hepatitis C?
Granulomas are sometimes found in the livers of patients with abnormal liver tests, and this can trigger an exhaustive search for the cause.

Another reason to get your hands dirty
Gardening is a very popular leisure activity for adults aged 65 or older in the United States.

Grazing animals help spread plant disease
Researchers have discovered that grazing animals such as deer and rabbits are actually helping to spread plant disease -- quadrupling its prevalence in some cases -- and encouraging an invasion of annual grasses that threaten more than 20 million acres of native grasslands in California.

Third-hand smoke: Another reason to quit smoking
Researchers at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and colleagues describe how tobacco smoke contamination lingers even after a cigarette is extinguished -- a phenomenon they define as

Hebrew University scientists succeed through stem cell therapy in reversing brain birth defects
Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have succeeded in reversing brain birth defects in animal models, using stem cells to replace defective brain cells.

Study examines impact of managed care on stroke prevention surgery
A recent study by a researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center, however, found that in the case of one common surgical procedure, the checks and balances assumed with managed care did not improve the quality or outcome of care.

Transcendental Meditation reduces ADHD symptoms among students: New study
The transcendental meditation technique may be an effective and safe nonpharmaceutical aid for treating ADHD, according to a promising new study published this month in the peer-reviewed online journal Current Issues in Education.

Nutrigenomics -- developing personalized diets for disease prevention
The emerging field of nutrigenomics, which aims to identify the genetic factors that influence the body's response to diet and studies how the bioactive constituents of food affect gene expression, is explored in a series of provocative, interdisciplinary reports and analyses in the December 2008 special issue.

4 years after tsunami: Corals stage comeback
A team of scientists from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society has reported a rapid recovery of coral reefs in areas of Indonesia, following the tsunami that devastated coastal regions throughout the Indian Ocean four years ago today.

Flowering plants speed post-surgery recovery
Contact with nature has long been suspected to increase positive feelings, reduce stress, and provide distraction from the pain associated with recovery from surgery.

Family members of critically ill patients want to discuss loved ones' uncertain prognoses
Critically ill patients frequently have uncertain prognoses, but their families overwhelmingly wish that physicians would address prognostic uncertainty candidly, according to a new study out of the University of San Francisco Medical Center.

New study examines effects of Graniteville, S.C., chlorine gas disaster
A new study examining the aftereffects of a chlorine gas disaster in a South Carolina town gives larger metropolitan areas important insight into what to expect and how to prepare emergency response systems for an accidental or terrorist release of the potentially deadly gas.

Scientists isolate genes that made 1918 flu lethal
By mixing and matching a contemporary flu virus with the

Fungal pill could provide asthma relief for 150,000 UK sufferers
Up to 150,000 people suffering from severe asthma in the UK could benefit from taking anti-fungal medication already available from pharmacists, new research has found.

Anti-fungal drug offers great benefits to some with severe asthma
Some patients with severe asthma who also have allergic sensitivity to certain fungi enjoy great improvements in their quality of life and on other measures after taking an anti-fungal drug, according to new research from the University of Manchester in England.

Viruses, start your engines!
Peering at structures only atoms across, researchers have identified the clockwork that drives a powerful virus nanomotor.

Study investigates the cost effectiveness of spinal surgery
A study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center suggests that for patients with spinal stenosis, a laminectomy, or surgical removal of some soft bone and tissue, is a reasonable value.

Minimizing obesity's impact on ovarian cancer survival
A new study showed that when actual body weight was used in chemo dosing for epithelial ovarian cancer, the overall survival is 40 months for non-obese patients and 47 months for obese patients, not a significant difference.

Can't chalk it up to 'baby fat'
Despite recent widespread media attention given to studies that have indicated one-third of American children have a weight problem, a new study shows just one-third of children who are overweight or obese actually receive that diagnosis by a pediatrician.

Chemist receives NIH funding to unravel tricks of neuronal wiring
Joshua Maurer, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry in arts and sciences, has received a four-year, $1,216,000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for research titled

Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in Korean population
A research group in Korea surveyed chronic gastrointestinal symptoms and health-related quality of life in the Korean general population.

University of Maryland researchers identify common gene variant linked to high blood pressure
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have identified a common gene variant that appears to influence people's risk of developing high blood pressure, according to the results of a study being published online Dec.

New use for human hair
Studies have shown that human hair, a readily available waste generated from barbershops and hair salons, combined with additional compost, is an additional nutrient source for crops.

Organic plant waste proves effective weed control for citrus trees
Interest in organic crop production is increasing around the world.

UC Davis researchers find molecule that targets brain tumors
UC Davis Cancer Center researchers report today the discovery of a molecule that targets glioblastoma, a highly deadly form of cancer.

A win-win: U-pick pumpkin farms recycle urban leaves
The growing popularity of rural fall festivals, grade school farm tours, and

Cystic fibrosis patients' self-assessment of health can predict prognosis
Adult cystic fibrosis patients can provide important information that helps to predict their prognosis, according to research that asked 223 adult CF patients to assess their own health and well-being.

Facial expressions of emotion are innate, not learned, says new study
Facial expressions of emotion are hardwired into our genes, according to a study published today in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Common food additive found to increase risk and speed spread of lung cancer
New research in an animal model suggests that a diet high in inorganic phosphates, which are found in a variety of processed foods including meats, cheeses, beverages and bakery products, might speed growth of lung cancer tumors and may even contribute to the development of those tumors in individuals predisposed to the disease.

Arterial infusion using gabexate mesilate: Is it effective therapy for severe acute pancreatitis?
Continuous regional arterial infusion (CRAI) of protease inhibitors and antibiotics has been applied to treat severe acute pancreatitis (SAP), but the evidence of its value is still scarce.

Web-based case studies help students develop career skills
A survey of employers in the landscape industry revealed the importance of arming landscaping and horticulture students with technical knowledge, practical application, and problem-solving skills.

Study shows competition, not climate change, led to Neanderthal extinction
In a recently conducted study, a multidisciplinary French-American research team with expertise in archaeology, past climates and ecology reported that Neanderthal extinction was principally a result of competition with Cro-Magnon populations, rather than the consequences of climate change.

Family rejection of LGB children linked to poor health in early childhood
Research conducted by the Family Acceptance Project at the Cesar E.

Gene therapy reversed heart damage in heart failure
Long-term gene therapy resulted in improved cardiac function and reversed deterioration of the heart in rats with heart failure, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University's Center for Translational Medicine.

A new screening test for chronic abdominal pain
Fifty patients with undiagnosed chronic abdominal pain of bowel origin underwent barium meal follow through (BMFT), BMFT with pneumocolon (BMFTP).

Moderate drinking can reduce risks of Alzheimer's dementia and cognitive decline
Moderate drinkers often have lower risks of Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive loss, according to researchers who reviewed 44 studies.

Acute gastric injury due to high-dose analgesics?
A new study has documented the gastrointestinal complications of high dose acetaminophen, a commonly used drug.

Matrix fragments trigger fatal excitement
Shredded extracellular matrix (ECM) is toxic to neurons. Chen et al. reveal a new mechanism for how ECM demolition causes brain damage.
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